Exclusive Interview: The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge Jumper
This morning, we spoke with Jimmy Jennings, the Lafayette man who jumped off the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.
He told us he thought the bridge was only about 30 feet above the water, and realized he was terribly wrong.
The jump was nearly 100 feet, which resulted in close to a 2.5 second free fall. According to a Free Fall Calculator, Jimmy hit the water at about 55mph.
Jimmy said he floated and swam for nearly 3 hours, saying he reached a point where he wanted to give up.
"After an hour and a half I was so tired, I just said 'God, if you want to take me, take me, otherwise I need some help," Jimmy said.
Jimmy told us he walked for an hour, and eventually found an ATV, which he "borrowed" to take back to civilization. It was then that he realized he was on an island. As far as the ATV went, Jimmy said "I didn't mess it up!"
Check out the full interview with Jimmy Jennings here:
A nearby duo of boats were on the island, and Jimmy "borrowed" one of those too. Eventually, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries spotted him.
The group approached him, weapons drawn, and told him to put his hands above his head and get on his knees.
"I was really confused, because I thought they were there to rescue me, not arrest me."
"I couldn't even raise my arm at all."
Obviously, Jimmy's very embarrassed by the ordeal, as you can tell by his Facebook profile.
As far as Jimmy's wife goes, he told us her view is that she "Either married a superhero or a psychopath."
Jimmy said the owner of the ATV and boat heard Jimmy only borrowed his things after spending a few hours floating down the river before walking a few hours with a bum shoulder and no shoes. The owner decided he wouldn't be pressing charges, as long as his stuff was back where it was found originally.